26 August 2010

The Pope is wrong (and also right)

In the latest issue of Standpoint magazine (Sep 2010), George Weigel argues that the UK should welcome Pope Benedict XVI when he graces its fair isles next month on a state visit (‘Britain Can Benefit From Benedict’). There is a rather vocal minority who are not too pleased about this, given the Vatican’s perceived complicity in child abuse scandals involving Catholic priests, among other egregious misdeeds. But even without this albatross around his neck, the Pope can expect little warmth from rational folks who see him as the representative of an ossified institution that claims to have unique access to eternal truths and moral laws dictated by a supernatural agency.

11 August 2010

"Eeeww!": Disgust and morality

A few weeks ago the intellectual middleman and founder of Edge.org John Brockman brought together a group of psychologists, neuroscientists and philosophers to discuss the emergent science of morality. It’s a hot topic at the moment, as our technology and methodology become more capable of studying the scientific basis of our sense of right and wrong. It would perhaps be no exaggeration to say that new discoveries in this field will have an impact on society and culture, politics and economics, education and law, possibly on every single facet of our lives as moral beings.

05 August 2010

Good news on proposed internet filter

My distaste for the Liberal brand is largely due to the unsavoury conservatism of its budgie-smuggler-in-chief Tony Abbott. But the Libs have scored a point on my goodwill card with their objection to the Labor government's proposed internet filter. 'Enemy of my enemy' and all that.

The online freedom advocacy group Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) welcomes the Coalition's stance on the internet filter issue. While it's unsurprising that the leftist Greens have opposed the filter since the idea was first floated, civil libertarians like EFA must be delighted with the perhaps unexpected support of the centre-right Liberals.

With both the Coalition and the Greens opposing the internet filter, there's a good chance now that even if Labor wins the upcoming election, its controversial proposal will not get past the Senate. Netizens would rightfully call that an epic win.